facebookPassport Renewal Singapore Guide: All You Need to Know Before You Travel

Passport Renewal Singapore Guide: All You Need to Know Before You Travel

profileJustin Oh

The world is slowly opening up and with many Singaporeans eager to travel,

The minimum processing time for passport renewals has risen to six weeks due to an overwhelming number of applications.

Source: Giphy

If you’re planning to travel, you’ll need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months.

With the current mad rush for overseas trips,

Here’s everything you need to know about applying for and renewing your passport, as well as some tips to help you avoid any processing delays so you can get on with your holiday ASAP!

TL;DR: Passport Renewal Singapore

Before applying for a renewal of your passport, make sure that you have:

  • A passport-sized, digital, colour photograph taken within the last three months that follow ICA’s guidelines
  • S$70 for the passport renewal fee

The minimum processing time for passport renewals is six weeks (at the time of writing) and you need to book an appointment before collecting your passport.

Jump to:

Passport Validity Requirements for Travel

Before planning for any overseas trips, make sure to check the passport validity requirements for the country that you are visiting.

Passport Validity Period Required Upon ArrivalCountries
6 monthsAfghanistan, Algeria, Anguilla, Bahrain, Bhutan, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire, Curacao, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Madagascar, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Somaliland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe
3 monthsAlbania*, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechia, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras*, Iceland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia*, Norway, Panama*, Poland, Portugal, Senegal*, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Source: Visa Guide World

*These countries require a 3-month passport validity from your arrival date into the country.  Schengen countries require that you have a passport validity of 3 months from the date you intend to leave the EU.

CountryPassport Validity Period
Bermuda45 days upon entry
Eritrea3 months on arrival
Hong Kong3 months on arrival
Lebanon3 months on arrival
Macau3 months on arrival
Micronesia4 months on arrival
South Africa3 months on arrival
The Maldives3 months on arrival
Zambia4 months on arrival

Source: Visa Guide World

As a general rule of thumb, it is good to make sure that your passport has been valid for six months so you won’t have to worry about this.

What Do I Need to Apply for or Renew My Passport in Singapore?

Before applying for or submitting an application to renew your passport,

You’ll need to prepare a passport-sized, digital, colour photograph taken within the last three months.

This is the most important document you’ll need and screwing it up will result in a longer processing time.

Having Your Passport Photo Professionally Taken For You

Even though I was pretty confident with my photo-taking skills and followed the guidelines as closely as possible, my photo was still rejected.

So I’d highly recommend going to a shop that specialises in passport photos where they will help you out for a small fee of under $10.

Source: Giphy

You can find these shops all around Singapore or go to the ones along North Bridge Road, just across the bridge from the ICA building.

While there are ID photo booths, I’d recommend going to a shop instead as you don’t want to risk wasting money on a rejected ID photo.

Once you’ve got the photo, just scan it into your device or get the shop assistants to send it to you by email, before submitting it online with your application!

Taking a Passport Photo By Yourself

Otherwise, here’s what you need to know when taking your own passport photo:

  • The photo must be taken with even brightness
  • Your facial expression must be neutral with your mouth closed (no smiling or frowning)
  • The photo must be in sharp focus and clear
  • Your shoulders and hair must be fully visible
  • The background of the photo must be fully white
  • If you’re wearing headgear/attire, they must be dark in colour against the white background
  • For those wearing spectacles, the lenses must be clear and untinted with your eyes clearly visible
  • You may wear non-coloured contact lenses but ensure that there is no red-eye effect
  • Your eyes must be fully visible (cannot be covered by your hair)
  • Facial features must be taken at a full frontal view with your eyes looking into the camera
  • Make sure that your photo isn’t flipped or distorted
  • The photo must be original and unedited

According to the ICA, it is highly recommended to use mobile apps that are specifically designed to take passport photos.

You can easily find them on the App Store or Play Store by searching ‘Singapore Passport’, ‘Singapore IC’ and ‘Photo’.

Moreover, please for the love of all things good and evil, do NOT take a selfie as they will be outright rejected.

If you want to take a passport photo by yourself, use a tripod stand or better yet,

Ask someone to help you and make sure that they have read the guidelines too.

Digital Passport Photo

For digital photos, the recommended photo size is 400 pixels by 514 pixels and should be uploaded in jpg, jpeg or png format and have a file size of no more than 2MB.

Printed Passport Photo

As for printed photos, they’ll need to be on a matte or semi-matte finish (non-reflective photo).

How Do I Apply for or Renew My Passport in Singapore?

Now that you have your passport photo prepared, here are the ways that you can apply for or renew your passport in Singapore.

Thanks to technology, you can apply for or renew your passport online so long as you fulfil one of the following criteria:

  • It is your first time applying for a passport
  • Your passport is running out of pages
  • Your passport has expired or is expiring in nine months or less
  • Your passport is lost or damaged

If you’re a little more old school, you may obtain a Singapore Passport Application Form and post your completed application form to:

Passport Unit
Citizen Services Centre
ICA Building
10 Kallang Road, Level 2
Singapore 208718

Alternatively, you can drop it into the deposit box outside the ICA Building.

Are There Any Passport Application Fees Involved?

Do note that you’ll have to pay a fee when applying for or renewing your passport.

Passport renewal & application (in Singapore)S$70
Passport renewal & application (at Singapore Overseas Mission)S$80 equivalent in foreign currency

Don’t forget to use your credit cards to get some cash back!

How Long Does It Take to Renew My Passport?

With the spike in travel demand, expect a minimum processing time of six weeks or longer if your passport photo does not meet the requirements.

While that might feel like a long wait, it’s really nothing compared to two years.

How Do I Collect My Passport?

When your passport is ready for collection, you will be notified by SMS, email, or post.

You WILL need to make an appointment to collect your passport within one month of approval.

If you’ve been to the ICA building before, you’ll know how long the wait times can be, so it is highly advisable to make your appointment asap.

You may collect your passport at:

  •  a post office (if applicable); or
  • the ICA Building.

Do also note that uncollected passports will be cancelled after three months and the passport fee will not be refunded.

Your renewed passport will be valid for 10 years if you’re 16 years old and above.

For those under 16 years old, the passport validity is five years.

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About Justin Oh
Your average Zillennial who is obsessed with anime, games, movies and of course, personal finance. Join me as I break down personal finance into easily digestible and fun bits!
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